Archive for the ‘Family and Friends’ Category

805BJJ Class 116: drama, De La Riva sweeps, drills, rolling

Saturday, April 14th, 2018

Sangeeta went running this Saturday morning, and she took with her Saranya’s mouth guard and belt. She told us she’d meet us in Simi and deliver the hardware, so we headed over and waited in the parking lot. While we were there, Leo went in (about an hour before the adult class). Odd. Anyway, it turns out Saranya’s belt wasn’t in her bag either. She headed to the back, and emerged from the bathroom later with her belt tied around her waist. Must have found her belt in the lost and found.

Before class started, Mark told Leo “I need to talk with you” and they made their way over to the Adams machines. The had a discussion, and Leo left. Then the kids wrapped up and we lined up for class. Mark told us that he had to kick Leo out of the school because he kept coming to class with alcohol on his breath. He said that the school does not tolerate training under the influence of alcohol or marijuana.

Anyway, class started. TJ warmed us up. He tried to bait Mark into a fit by using tantric yoga terminology, but Mark was intently talking with Christian and ignored TJ. It turns out that Mark was kicking Kerry out, and banning his son Skyler from the school. It seems Kerry was a problem with other parents, and Mark had to shut him down in the parking lot by threatening to kick his ass. He came back in muttering “Fuck that guy.”

Then Christian taught us some De La Riva guard sweeps that were sort of judo-flavored. The De La Riva guard is an open guard where your near leg hooks around their leg and pulls their knee forward, while your other leg pushes their far leg away at the thigh. Grips are variable, but we went with sleeve grips. For the sweeps, first you push them off balance by pushing their far thigh away, then you sit up, trap one of their arms to their near leg with a big hook, post opposite hand and foot, and scoot your leg back as you press forward with your chest.

We did a drill where we went 2.5 minutes of just repeating the takedown, then switched positions for the next 2.5 minutes. My thighs got tired from standing up so much!

Then we did a chain roll from open guard. I passed Shabbar, swept Cowboy, and then I let Aiden pass on me. From then on, I was garbage.

We ended class with 8 minute rolls. I started against Shabbar, getting demolished consistently. He got regular takedowns despite my lessons against Brandon on Thursday. He put intense pressure on my ribs. I realized I need to work a lot harder on getting out from under big guys, but I just had no energy today. Might be from the pie last night, huh? After that, I had competitive rolls with Logan and Cosmo. I had to sit out the last round.

805BJJ Class 101: Kimura from everywhere, rolling

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

I came in early to watch Saranya’s class. She did really well. I was impressed.

We started our class with a half-assed warm-up as the kids finished off in the corner. Then we paired up to learn how to do a kimura from closed guard. I already knew how to do this, so I worked on refining my technique. Specifically, grip the arm HARD by doing a motorcycle rev grip, and make sure their elbow is bent and locked, and keep your arms clamping their upper arm tight, and use your legs to lock down their hips. My training partner was Professor Pat, and he gave me pointers that were opposite to what Greggo was teaching. Greggo came over and straightened us out eventually. I can do a kimura pretty well.

Next was Christian showing a kimura from bottom half guard. The idea, he said, is to distract them with your underhook (though later Greggo said you more typically get it when blocking the cross face) and get a no-thumb wrist grip on their cross face arm, while maintaining an inner leg hook. Sit up on your wrist-gripping elbow as you reach the other arm over and lock up the figure 4 grip. Bend the arm to 90 degrees and twist your hands to push bone to bone and make it uncomfortable. Squeeze your legs together as you roll under, keeping your tight grip on their upper arm, and rotate their shoulder until they tap.

We also learned how to finish it from top side control. Take the near arm, pin the wrist to the belt with your top hand, slip your bottom hand under the elbow and lock up the kimura grip. Now you want to step over them to go to a north-south orientation. Roll them up on their side with their locked arm up. Brace your knee in their back to keep them from lying flat. Hug their arm to your chest. Twist it away from their body to break a belt or gi grip, then sit up while keeping it locked to your body, then rotate the shoulder to put their hand in their own back pocket for the tap.

Rolling started slow. I rolled with Carlos, and he quickly gave up the hip bump sweep and I got mount. He got his feet up high to pull me over backward, but then he didn’t get on top. Huh. I could have submitted him all over the place just by throwing my weight on him, but I didn’t.

After that, Mark told me to go roll with “Mad Dog” Mark. We went off in the Adam corner and got to it. I started on the bottom, and somehow got on top and mounted him. He was doing push ups on me and trying to lock up a kimura from bottom mount, and I wasn’t able to sink an arm bar on him. He almost recovered half guard on me but I maintained mount and just ended up smashing him.

Next round was with Ray. I managed to do pretty well against him, and didn’t get submitted, but he was also secure from my submission attempts. He did pass to side control once, but I was able to get him to take kesa gatame, and when I threatened to take his back he retreated and broke contact.

The round after that I rolled with Joel, the little hispanic kid from Saranya’s class. He was going to roll with Aiden but Johnson was off doing other stuff so Joel jumped at the chance to roll with me. We started with me in his guard, and I let him work. He locked up a good arm bar. Tap. Then we went to Joel in my guard, and I wiggled around to test his base (he was wobbly and he somehow leg locked himself once) but eventually he passed and I turtled. He was working on something that I didn’t recognize and I was coaching him to get his hooks which he finally did and sunk in the choke just before the end of the round.

Last round was with Sean. I started in his guard and he started doing spider guard on me. I tried sliding him between my legs but he just slid right out again when I tried to sit on him. He then went to a De La Riva guard and tipped me over onto the wall. I barely got out of that when Mark called a pause in the action to hand out Carlos’ blue belt! Then we went back to rolling. Sean again did the open guard, and I started passing. He set up the bait baseball choke, but I saw it coming and prevented it, which impressed him.

Then we all hip tossed Carlos onto the crash pad and class was over.

Afterward, Saranya and I went to Chipotle!

805BJJ Class 100: triangle defense

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

Finally hit my 100th class. Greggo taught triangle defenses.

The first defense is controlling the latch leg with your in-arm. Grip the pants of the leg across your neck, press it to the mat, then look up as you posture up. If they pull your head down, good luck!

Next defense was to grip the cross leg and turn it out to try to survive. Good luck!

Next was a pass/submission based on getting your posture and removing your arm. Once you get your arm out from between, reach your free arm forward and across to grab the collar thumb-in. Then you can stack them and press that forearm into their neck for the submission, or let them fall to the side and establish side control.

We did some situational rolling where we practiced either finishing the triangle or getting out of the triangle. I finished Phil once and Andrew twice. Jen finished me twice, but I couldn’t get a tight triangle on her at all. Shabbar finished me at will, and crushed me with stacking pressure when I tried to triangle him. Then I had to leave to pick up Saranya from her short school day.


Sunday, February 11th, 2018

Saranya got sick after I started getting better. Sangeeta made me take her to the doctor. They did the tests and the flu test came out positive. They prescribed Tamiflu, and Saranya made me get it, but then she refused to take the medicine.

Anyway, that means I also had flu. Or I’m about to get flu…

Pathfinder 4

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Got together at Greg’s place to finish up our first Pathfinder campaign. The guys charmed the shock troops, took out the chief, and hit 2nd level.

R.I.P. dad

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Norman Burke fell asleep after breakfast and could not be roused for his afternoon meds. He passed away before dinner, peacefully in his sleep.

Krav Maga Class 116: Saranya quits BJJ, epic warmup, epic tombstone punching, bob and counter, epic sparring, plank bananas to the end

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

Today was the day that Saranya quit BJJ. I am disappoint.

Curtis’ Saturday morning class started with running. And more running. It felt like NASCAR. I was getting dizzy. We phased into shoulder tag, alternating with different exercises.

Once that was over, we partnered up and grabbed a tombstone pad. We did three rounds of straight punches or palm strikes alternating with flurries of the same. I paired with Eric Maas and we explored the limits of his cardio. We also discovered that my palm strikes are a lot harder than my punches, because I don’t need to stabilize my wrist or align my knuckles for palm strikes.

After we were both worn out, we got focus mitts and practiced bobbing under a right hook, then added a left hook counter, until we were almost dead.

Then we put on headgear and got down to sparring. 40-50% power. I started against Eric, and we both knocked each other’s heads around a bit. Then I paired up with Ray, and he got a lecture from Curtis about not just playing tag, but landing solid punches. After that I went against Calvin, Daniel, Richard, and Ivan. Saranya said I did pretty good, and against the smaller and less experienced guys, I did. However, I got chewed up by Eric and Ivan. I was able to hold my own against Eric for some of the time, but Ivan’s a lot better than me, and he staggered me with a body shot as I was getting too aggressive.

Dad – the new resident dependent

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

My dad has come to live at my house. He can’t take care of himself, so someone else has to do it. That “someone else” turns out to be me, right now. He can’t afford boarding care until he can get rental income from his house, and he can’t rent his house until we clean it up and clear it out. In the mean time, he’s living in my house, sleeping in Saranya’s bed, slowly learning the names of the people who live here, and requiring my assistance at random times. That leaves me unable to concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes. I’m always on edge, and nothing is fun. Constant stress.

Our weekends will be spent cleaning and emptying his house. There is so much urgency to this task. Maybe it will lessen as we hire some nursing assistance, but so far that’s prohibitively expensive. Sangeeta seems to like having him here, but that’s because she isn’t responsible for taking care of him 24/7 like I am. I’m sure he likes it better here than in a nursing facility, so we’ll see if we can swing it. Maybe a day nurse will be sufficient assistance to get us back to a manageable state.

We’ll see.

At least the crud I took home from GENCON is finally fading.


Monday, August 21st, 2017

I flew out to Indy to hang out with Castor for GENCON 50!

The flight out was nice. Direct on Southwest. I spent most of the time writing my thoughts on improvements to our sequencing algorithm to better take into account the information we have regarding the user’s learning strength for a particular item.

Castor’s house was in a state of renovation. Wet paint and no mirror in the guest bathroom, so I ended up showering in Castor’s shower for all but the last day.

GENCON was fun. On Thursday we wandered the vendor floor before finding our game, which was a RPG based on the old City of Heroes MMO. It was fun. I was “Tech Support” the tech tank. Whenever I entered a battle, I yelled “Tech Support is here. What is your Customer Identification Number?” and they’d all try to attack me. It was funny.

Friday was a free day. We again wandered the vendor floor, ate some Island Noodles, and in the evening we went to Castor’s boss’ house (Matt) for their regular Pathfinder campaign. I played a mercenary named Cevalla who was formerly a caravan guard but was laid off once the caravan hit town. The first couple hours were an exercise in shopping and trivia, and I was stunned by the lack of wisdom on display. My proudest moment was when I cracked a situational joke in character that cracked up the entire table. That felt good.

First thing Saturday morning, we went to another Pathfinder game. This one was an advanced Legends of the Shining Jewel campaign that we were definitely not qualified for, so they redirected us to the noob table, let us choose a premade level 1 character, and set us off to save the beer festival at the town of Brexton. It was simple and easy. We took more damage from our 2nd level fighter’s critical fumbles than we did from the enemy.

The rest of Saturday was spent shopping for stuff. Then we went home and I talked with Sangeeta, and she made me feel horrible. I didn’t want to go home to that tempest of chaos and pain.

Sunday was just a shopping day. Got coffee in the morning and felt so much better. My optimism returned. We left early and stopped by an authentic Mexican restaurant for lunch, complete with shrink wrapped TVs blasting Ranchero Pop, a bunch of shouting dirty local Mexican workers, an adjacent carniceria, and a real crawly cockroach crawling on the bar. We went back to Castor’s place and ended the day with a Dungeon Crawl board game, which Carla won (of course).

I left Castor’s house on Monday morning, had a moderately leisurely breakfast, made a quick stop at Starbucks for a coffee, spent a bit of time in traffic on the way to the airport, spent 20 minutes to check my suitcase, 15 minutes to get through security, and missed my flight by one minute.

Brandon vs Road Rage

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

I remembered a part of a dream I had last night. The snippet started after Brandon had been the victim of an aggressive driver on the street. Some guy had done something dangerous and had acted like Brandon was intentionally messing with him by using the street. Anyway, the guy stops at the next traffic signal and Brandon pulls up next to him, parks his car, gets out, and goes over to this guy’s car. Brandon opens the door and pulls the guy out onto the ground. The guy’s a short thin man with wavy light brown hair and a beard. Brandon is huge, weighing in north of 300 lbs, and a trained self defense instructor. Anyway, Brandon carefully drags the guy out and onto the hot pavement, where the guy ends up lying with his legs under his own car and his seat belt wrapped around his neck. Brandon calmly sits in his driver’s chair, secures the guy’s car so it won’t roll off, puts his foot on the guy’s chest, and calmly starts to explain to him that his behavior is unacceptable and that it could have dire consequences.

I was very impressed with Brandon’s calm, gentle violence and teaching method. Even though the guy he taught isn’t a real person, and I would never be able to pull off that maneuver, I bet it would go over well in a movie.